Chelsea begin the new Premier League campaign with a trip to Old Trafford to face Man Utd on August 11, and they may well be short of being at full strength.
It is of course also the beginning of the Frank Lampard era, as the Blues legend will hope to get off to a positive start in his first game as Chelsea manager in the Premier League.
However, he may well have to cope with some early absentees due to injury, as Football London report that Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante, Willian, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are all continuing to receive treatment.
It’s suggested that Kante is the ‘biggest doubt’ which will be a blow for Lampard given the influential Frenchman’s key role in the side, and having the start of his season disrupted by injury is far from ideal for all concerned.
Nevertheless, there was also some good news earlier this week with Rudiger stepping up his recovery from injury, and given how important the German international was for Chelsea last season, they’ll be hoping that he can make his comeback sooner rather than later.
As noted in his tweet below, he’ll return to training with the rest of the squad next week, and so Lampard will hope that it isn’t too long after that before he can put himself in contention to feature but the United game will seemingly come too soon.
However, a few of the names mentioned above sustained serious setbacks over the course of the back-end of last season and over the summer, and so Lampard will surely have to make do without them until they are passed fit to return.
The Chelsea boss does still have plenty of quality and depth at his disposal though despite the club’s transfer ban this summer, and he’ll hope that the mix of experience and youth will give his side the right balance in the coming weeks to make a solid start to the season and ensure that they’re in a good place early on.
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) July 31, 2019